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Up flow it air collar issues.


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Hey fellow nerms. Hope all is well. So as the title says I'm noticing an issue with a couple of my air flow kit collars.

They have been on my sponge filters for a couple of months and I'm not noticing a good amount of flow loss. I always keep extra coop sponges around in case I ever need one. So I grabbed a  new one out of another filter and swapped it out with the new one. And on both of the collars I'm having issues with it solved the flow issue. I'm thinking maybe there getting a little buildup of calcium or other delicious tank crud in them. 

I was thinking Ill soak them in some vinegar for a little while and see if it helps clean them out since there really isn't a way to clean them

Was curious to see if anyone else has experienced this and if they found a way to resolve it 

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I have a few easy flow kits on adapters to use in my UGF plates.  After several months I noticed flow was slowing down.  I have3 degree GH and around 1 degree KH.  Rather than vinegar I opted to tAke the whole assembly apart and soak it all in a strong bleach solution for a bit.

Once the algae on the uplift tubes disappeared I used tube brushes and ran that through the tubes and collars, rinsed everything well and then soaked it in rinse water with a 1/4 cup of dechlorinator.   Then another rinse And air dry.  When I put it all together again flow was back to normal…

 

So I can see it being either mineral deposits or algae,…

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On 6/1/2024 at 7:06 PM, Pepere said:

I have a few easy flow kits on adapters to use in my UGF plates.  After several months I noticed flow was slowing down.  I have3 degree GH and around 1 degree KH.  Rather than vinegar I opted to tAke the whole assembly apart and soak it all in a strong bleach solution for a bit.

Once the algae on the uplift tubes disappeared I used tube brushes and ran that through the tubes and collars, rinsed everything well and then soaked it in rinse water with a 1/4 cup of dechlorinator.   Then another rinse And air dry.  When I put it all together again flow was back to normal…

 

So I can see it being either mineral deposits or algae,…

Yes I have almost liquid rock water. So I'm thinking mine's probably more of a mineral deposit versus algae. Or combination of both you never know.

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Yup, I’ve experienced this. Here’s what I do now:

-About once per month I now pull the collar off. I’m getting some buildup in the air collar, which is wild as my water is super super soft. So I first run it under hot water, and just use my finger to wipe away the gunk.
- I have a 20ml syringe with a piece of airline tubing attached to it. 
-Hook the airline up to the collar, and use the syringe to draw vinegar through. Then, push hard to push the vinegar back out. I do that 3 or 4 times. 
-Repeat in a cup of hot water to clear out the vinegar. 
-Then, using just air, I pull and push HARD like 10 times to really clear everything out. 
 

Viola, air collars are like brand new. 
 

I’ve also noticed I need to clean my sponges more often. Pulling more and harder through the sponge thanks to the flow I’m collecting more detritus. I had one sponge that was glugging and it was driving me INSANE. I went down the rabbit hole. Clean the air collar, clean the easy flow, new easy flow assembly, new airline tubing, switched air pumps…. Literally everything I could think of. Then I cleaned the sponge and the glugging was instantly gone and I felt like an idiot lol. 

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On 6/1/2024 at 8:28 PM, AllFishNoBrakes said:

Yup, I’ve experienced this. Here’s what I do now:

-About once per month I now pull the collar off. I’m getting some buildup in the air collar, which is wild as my water is super super soft. So I first run it under hot water, and just use my finger to wipe away the gunk.
- I have a 20ml syringe with a piece of airline tubing attached to it. 
-Hook the airline up to the collar, and use the syringe to draw vinegar through. Then, push hard to push the vinegar back out. I do that 3 or 4 times. 
-Repeat in a cup of hot water to clear out the vinegar. 
-Then, using just air, I pull and push HARD like 10 times to really clear everything out. 
 

Viola, air collars are like brand new. 
 

I’ve also noticed I need to clean my sponges more often. Pulling more and harder through the sponge thanks to the flow I’m collecting more detritus. I had one sponge that was glugging and it was driving me INSANE. I went down the rabbit hole. Clean the air collar, clean the easy flow, new easy flow assembly, new airline tubing, switched air pumps…. Literally everything I could think of. Then I cleaned the sponge and the glugging was instantly gone and I felt like an idiot lol. 

Sweet an excuse for me to make an Amazon order for 20ml syringes...

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These are all good tips!  I just started using the ACO sponge filter in my 55 gallon tank, so I'll have to remember these methods in a few months 🙂 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2024 at 8:40 PM, TeeJay said:

Sweet an excuse for me to make an Amazon order for 20ml syringes...

And with the syringes a cold brew coffee pitcher for the fridge...a must have for my coffee with TeeJay journal 

Edited by TeeJay
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On 6/1/2024 at 6:40 PM, TeeJay said:

Sweet an excuse for me to make an Amazon order for 20ml syringes...

I’ve been using them for the past couple of years. They’re fairly inexpensive, and I use them all the time. I use them daily for feeding BBS, use them to portion out BBS I hatched and I’m going to freeze, use them to clean out air collars, etc. 

At like $0.50 per, and daily use, and each one lasts at least a month before I replace it, it is a no brainer for me. 

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I'm glad I am not the only one that has this issue. I have ~60 of the uplift tube kits and I have had issues with them getting clogged. I have had them clog in soft and hard water, and there doesn't seem to be a distinct pattern other than the ones in my bristlenose grow out tanks always clogging. I have unclogged them by just soaking them in vinegar, but they clogged up again within a month. I am disappointed that these are having issues partially because I trusted that these would work without maintenance and I bought 60 of them right as they released. I don't remember the Co-op mentioning anything about doing maintenance on them which makes me think that they didn't find this issue in their testing. I am currently working with their support team to try and solve this issue, but if it doesn't get fixed I will be going back to the old dirt cheap amazon airstones.

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I have a medium sponge filter I have been running for several months.  My water is GH is off the chart when using the ACO test strips.  My buffer is 120.  I am running a very strong air pump that pushes a fair amount of water and air through the uplift tube even when 4 to 6 inches of tube is above the water surface during water changes.  I wonder if the strength of the air flow makes any difference on keeping the air flow collar on the Easy Flow uplift tube working?

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On 6/4/2024 at 6:48 PM, AAE said:

I wonder if the strength of the air flow makes any difference on keeping the air flow collar on the Easy Flow uplift tube working?

I thought the same thing, and wanted to upgrade some pumps anyways. In my experience, that hasn’t been the magic fix. About once every 4-6 weeks I need to clean the air collars out. 

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On 6/1/2024 at 3:55 PM, TeeJay said:

Was curious to see if anyone else has experienced this and if they found a way to resolve it 

If you take the collar and gently lift it off the "hat" then you might see flow immediately return to normal.  If that's the case, the air collar isn't the issue.  I had to remove mine because the sponge I had just didn't let the flow... flow.  The amount of water/air I was pushing, when it was all setup must've been the crux of the issue, but even with the sponge cleaned like new I couldn't get it to flow (using very fine sponge in a shrimp tank). 

Hopefully that helps.  @AllFishNoBrakes is working through similar issues with normal sponge.

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